MORRISVILLE – Arrivo BioVentures, which emerged from stealth mode less than two years ago with $49 million in funding and four drug candidates, has raised another $45 million and plans to advance its treatment focused on major depression disorder or MDD.

Among the investors is Triangle-based Rex Health Ventures.

The company has now raised $100 million.

With the funds, Arrivo wants to move into late-stage development for its SP-624 compound through clinical trials.

“MDD is significantly more common in females, compared to males, meaning SP-624 could have a massive impact on the future of women’s mental health,” a spokesperson for Arrivo said.

The company also is developing a treatment for pancreatitis.

“We are extremely grateful to our investors who continue to believe in our team and our promising pipeline,” said Steve Butts, CEO of Arrivo, in the announcement made Wednesday. “In addition to allowing Arrivo to complete the planned clinical trials, the funding will enable us to explore the use of SP-624 in other diseases and advance activities necessary to file a new drug application with the FDA for the treatment of MDD.”

SP-624 is described as “a small molecule that selectively activates the SIRT6 enzyme, a novel epigenetic mechanism known to modulate gene expression, metabolism and DNA repair. Recent published literature suggests that human females and males exhibit gene expression changes in opposite directions when depressed,” Arrivo explained.

“The results of Arrivo’s Phase 2 study with SP-624 appear to support this finding by demonstrating that female subjects on SP-624 experienced early and robust alleviation of depressive symptoms, unlike male patients in the study.”

Investors include Orlando Health Ventures, which led the round, along with Solas BioVentures Emerging Healthcare Fund, L.P., Rex Health Ventures and “several private investors,” Arrivo said.

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